As much as we are on our feet, bunions (hallux valgus) can be cause for a drastic change in pace and schedule. They can cause severe and constant pain. The joint of the bunion may become so sore that shoes are too uncomfortable to wear. Thankfully, you can often get rid of bunions naturally with simple, soothing remedies and avoid bunion surgery.
What is a Bunion?
Mayo Clinic defines a bunion as a “bony bump” that develops at the base of your big toe on the joint. ¹
Most often, you start developing bunions as your big toe puts pressure against the toe next to it and forces the joint out of alignment. This misalignment also causes the joint of your big toe to get bigger and to protrude further out than it normally would.
While bunions are most common on the joint of your big toe, smaller bunions can develop on your little toes.
Bunions that form on the outside of the foot are called bunionettes or Tailor’s bunions. They often occur in people with existing bunions on the inside of their foot.
How to Get Rid of a Bunion Naturally
Bunions generally respond well to natural, at-home treatments. These natural remedies are effective and reducing pain and shrinking the size of the bunion.
Research presented by LiveStrong ² suggests that several herbal remedies are useful for providing relief from bunion issues – one treatment being chamomile. This herbal remedy contains anti-inflammatory properties that help shrink the size of your bunion and relieve pain associated with the condition. Try drinking chamomile tea and applying used tea bags directly to your bunion.
Calendula is a treatment supported by Dr. James A. Duke, as it also has anti-inflammatory properties. You can often find calendula compounds or ointments in health food stores or nutrition shops. Apply the mixture to your bunions 2 to 3 times daily for up to a week.
Dr. Weil suggests using turmeric or other hot spices for treating bunions.³ The capsaicin contained in turmeric helps reduce inflammation and reduces pain.
Try drinking one teaspoon of turmeric dissolved in 8 ounces of water as a natural anti-inflammatory.
Earth Clinic readers suggest that an oil massage on the bunion itself is the best remedy to ease bunion pain. Coconut oil is considered the most effective oil. Read feedback and tips on application methods here.
How to Prevent Bunions From Getting Worse
Maintain an Anti-Inflammatory Diet
Avoid foods that cause inflammation such as:
- Drinks with Sugar
- Fried Food, which contains trans fats
- Wheat Bread
- Wheat Pasta
- Soybean and vegetable oil
- soybean oil and vegetable oil
- Processed junk food
Wear Only Comfortable Shoes
- Wear fitting shoes that are wide enough in the toe area. Make sure you test any shoes by walking around in the store to make sure they are roomy enough.
- Consider wearing comfortable shoes made of natural materials like wool and bamboo.
- Avoid high heeled shoes, which are often the main culprit when it comes to bunions.
- Wear shoes that have decent foot arch support.
- Foot and ankle shoe inserts, bunion pads, and toe spacers can help prevent the bunion from growing. Almost all pharmacies carry these items in the foot care section.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Weight gain can often cause a decrease in circulation to the feet, in addition to swelling. An ice pack placed on the inflamed area of a moderate bunion once or twice a day can help bring down any swelling around the bunion.
What Causes a Bunion?
There are many ways a bunion can develop, and experts cannot yet pinpoint an exact cause. However, the following are likely factors:
- Foot injuries.
- The shape of the foot.
- Deformities in the foot at birth.
Additionally, tight, narrow, or high heeled footwear can further contribute to the development of a bunion.
Inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis can also be a factor in bunion formation.
When To Seek Medical Advice
While most bunions do not require medical treatment, a podiatrist or orthopedic foot specialist can help you if you have any of the following symptoms:
- Constant pain.
- A visible mass on your joint.
- Decreased movement in your toe or surrounding area.
A specialist will be able to fit you with a bunion splint if necessary.
Continue reading below to learn which remedies have helped Earth Clinic readers get rid of their bunions naturally. Let us know which one you tried!
Most Popular Bunion Remedies
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